Creating High Performing Marketing Functions for the Digital Age

Despite quick changes in marketing driven by the influence of social and digital media, the marketing function in most organisations has seen little or no change over the past 40 years. How can marketers adapt their marketing efforts to meet the new demands? To find out, EffectiveBrands co-founder Marc de Swaan Arons conducted a study among 10,000 marketers from 92 countries which examined what separated high-performing marketers from the rest.

High performers were found to excel in three areas: integrating data about what customers are doing and why they are doing it; communicating a brand purpose that resonates with functional, emotional and societal needs; and delivering a “total experience” to customers. To provide a high-quality experience, high performers break previous organisational barriers and involve everybody in the marketing efforts. This means the marketing strategy will be linked to the general business strategy and other functions; employees have to be inspired with the brand’s purpose; the company should focus and align around a few key priorities; set up flexible, cross-functional teams made up of thinkers, doers and feelers depending on the task at hand; and build internal capabilities through extensive training at all levels.

The results of the survey revealed that only half of high-performing organisations excel on some of these capabilities. Thus, marketers have still a long way to go to create organisations that truly fulfil the customers’ needs.

How has your marketing function changed in the digital age? Let us know in the comments section below.

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